Spiritual Defiance by Robin Meyers
Spiritual Defiance: Building a Beloved Community of Resistance
Thousands of churches across the country, exist as shabby specters of once-vibrant and instrumental institutions of the community. “Church buildings are on lockdown most of the time,” writes Robin Meyers, “haunted hulks of vaulted ceilings, empty pews, and bygone glory.” During his thirty-year career as a parish minister and professor, Robin Meyers has focused on renewing the church as an instrument of social change and personal transformation. In this provocative and passionate book, he explores the decline of church as a community of believers and calls readers back to the church’s roots as a community of resistance. Shifting the conversation away from theological purity and marketing strategies that embrace cultural norms, and toward “embodied noncompliance” with the dominant culture, Meyers calls readers back to the church’s roots as a community of resistance and urges a return to the revolutionary spirit that marked Jesus’s ministry.
With Spiritual Defiance, Meyers casts the nature of faith as a force that stands against anything and everything that engenders death and indignity. He calls for active–sometimes even subversive–defiance of the ego’s temptations, of what he terms “the heresy of orthodoxy itself,” and an end to an uncritical acceptance of militarism and capitalism. Each chapter is a poignant and urgent invitation to recover the Jesus Movement as a Beloved Community of Resistance.
Praise for Spiritual Defiance:
“Here is a book that could not be more timely, or more urgent. Robin Meyers has carefully and persuasively sketched out exactly what we most desperately need today to defeat the divisive forces that threaten to shred our communities. Fair and comprehensive, the book is also eloquently composed.”
-Harvey Cox author of The Future of Faith
“A challenging and visionary manifesto. When this wind comes sweeping down the plain, it sounds a lot like the creative breath of a Genesis dawn and the fiery spirit of a Pentecost morning.”
-John Dominic Crossan
“Spiritual Defiance is a veritable landscape of dramatically beautiful phrases and insights, bon mots and felicitous subtleties. Meyer’s ‘Resistance to Orthodoxy’ section is particularly brilliant, seeming almost to scintillate before the reader. It would be hard, in fact, to imagine a more informing and/or pleasurable treatment than this of clericalism in the contemporary world.”
-Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why